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8 Pros and Cons of Diverse Teams

Each person has a unique set of strengths and weaknesses. These skills, when blended with the skills of others, can help to create a diverse team that works together to achieve a singular goal. Diversity goes beyond surface differences, such as race or culture, to the very experiences that people have had. By working together, all differences make everyone stronger. Diverse teams, however, can also be a source of internal conflict when those differences put people at odds with their own personal experiences. Diverse teams are a requirement in the modern workforce. That’s why it is always important to periodically review these key points when discussing the pros and cons of this subject.

Here Are the Pros of Diverse Teams

1. It leads to increased innovation.
When people from different backgrounds and experiences are able to come together successfully, then the unique viewpoints can be blended together to create a better overall product. This is because people are forced to think outside of their boxes and step into the shoes of others to solve problems while still providing their own unique strengths at the same time.

2. It provides employers with a larger pool of talent from which to draw.
If employers limit themselves to certain population demographics, then they are forced to have a limited talent pool because of their personal preferences. With the numerous cultures, experiences, and backgrounds that are offered to people around the world, creating diverse teams means being able to find more talented people to fill an open position.

3. It allows an organization to be adaptable.
Diverse teams also help a brand to be able to enter more markets than if they focused on specific population demographics instead. Even markets where one culture may be preferred can become a business opportunity when there are team members included that can relate to that environment. There is no better way to introduce flexibility to a product or service than to create something using a diverse team because of this fact.

4. People can be assigned specific tasks based on their specific strengths.
Instead of forcing people to focus on their weaknesses, employers with diverse teams can assign more people to projects that are reflective of their strengths. When each team member is able to do something that they are very good at doing, then the quality of the end result can be increased and that makes the employer more competitive within their market.

Here Are the Cons of Diverse Teams

1. There can be a perpetual state of confusion or conflict present.
What might seem normal for one person could be considered an insult to another. Even if diverse teams are able to get along well, there are always small annoyances that require coping skills for the team to stay together. In a worst case scenario, a disagreement based on culture or experience can lead to a power struggle that may destroy the team if left unchecked.

2. It can increase administrative responsibilities.
When there are different people offering opinions or strategies based on their own unique perspectives, it can take some time to sort through all of that data. This means it could take more time to create a corporate decision when diverse teams are present, especially if there are many different actions that have been recommended. This increases administrative responsibilities because the unwritten rule of business is that every idea should be documented in some way so that it can be properly considered.

3. Some diverse teams may be unproductive.
Sometimes cultures can be so different that two people are unable to work together at all. Someone growing up in the southern United States in an ultra conservative household may struggle to adapt to an ultra liberal household from the Pacific Northwest and vice-versa, leading to low morale and less productivity because of the emphasis on diverse teams.

4. There can be too many leaders and not enough workers.
On diverse teams, there must be one central hub where information flows for it to be effective. Everyone believes that their perspective is best because it is based on their personal experiences. If there aren’t protocols in place to limit people from doing their own thing, then common practices cannot be followed and this can create a tremendous amount of disarray.

The pros and cons of diverse teams must be carefully managed to avoid negative outcomes. When we are able to learn from each other, then we become stronger. The problem is that sometimes differences are seen as weaknesses instead and that’s when breakdowns occur.

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